Do You Remember?

Do you remember subscribing to a gardening blog a few years ago? One that caters to the Mid-Atlantic gardening region? Yeah me, too. And I even remember spending hours every day writing the blog posts.

Well, life happens and I happened to skip a few months (or years). I’ve been thinking that I may write smaller posts that involve more discussion from the readers…after all, none of us are as smart as all of us, right? Soooo…

MULCH

Sounds pretty mundane, huh? But what kind should you use? Pine bark nuggets? Double shredded hardwood? Dyed mulch? Cypress? It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all of the choices out there. I’ll give you my two cents if you promise to give me yours…

What mulch do I use? Double shredded hardwood mulch. Why? Earthworms.

Photo by EcoWatch

Earthworms are the entire reason that I garden. I love digging a hole and seeing them squirming all around with their little wet, shiny selves. I love to know that they love eating my soil. And turning it into poop. That the plants love. That I love. Sound weird? Probably.

One thing that my co-workers and I noticed after using brown dyed mulch was the lack of earthworm activity. Like none. Zip. Nada. Areas that were full of earthworms the season before were void of them now. Did we happen to catch all of the earthworms on a bad day? Perhaps. But we decided to go back to plain old double shredded hardwood mulch. And guess what happened? Earthworms, that’s what happened.

So tell me…what has your experience been with the mulch you use?

 

February 4, 2017Permalink 10 Comments

10 thoughts on “Do You Remember?

  1. Yep-Spring is just around the corner-thank goodness. We use mulched leaves and grass clippings from clean yards for our gardens and in the winter – layers of newspaper and/or cardboard with pine needles on top…needless to say we have earthworm heavens everywhere..have not used hardwood mulch ..

    • Cardboard seems to really bring out the happy in earthworms. I read somewhere that they are particularly attracted to the glue in the cardboard. I’m not sure if that’s true but they do seem drawn to it.

  2. Glad to have you back!
    I recently attended a talk from a master gardener who uses a combination of 1/4 leaf mold (from shredded leaves) and 1/4 chicken grit (which you buy at a farm supply store), mixed with 1/2 soil as she transplants. She, too, of course was big with mulch but didn’t mention earth worms.
    Anastasia

  3. Good to have you back!

    I don’t us a lot of “mulch” but was overjoyed when I had a load of wood chips of various sizes delivered to start a Back to Eden garden bed. First off, for anyone is doing that, PLEASE spread the wood chips out as quickly as possible or keep far away from combustible materials (like your car or your house). Thankfully my pile was away from any combustibles because I it produced a LOT of heat . . . enough that I got some beautiful biochar (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biochar).

    Then when I spread it and had to move some after a year, I found a nice network of mycellium (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycelium).

    Both are VERY beneficial to the garden.

    Kim
    Sqaure Foot Gardening 4 U

    • Yes! Wood chips!!! I L-O-V-E them and have asked many tree companies to drop off some at my home but none have taken me up on my offer. Using them in the veggie garden is amazing!

  4. Glad to see you’re back! I have always used double shredded hardwood mulch because it cheaper, it breaks down and it gets incorporated into the soil for the benefit of plant life as you so noted.

    • That’s great, Tom! We started using the dyed mulch because it maintains its color so much longer but quickly learned that it wasn’t all that it’s cracked up to be!

  5. Hi Stacey! Welcome back.

    It’s embarrassing, but I do not remember this newsletter. But it looks great. and I have renewed interest in my gardening. Always loved it but just gave up because I never had time. Still have very little. but it gives me such pleasure that it is on 2017 goals I am committed to.

    I remember playing with mud as a 5 year old. loved the dirt! not so much the bugs, then. Now I work at coexisting with them and talk to them once in awhile — hoping they find their way OUT of my house.

    I do have a question. I recently moved 3 hours south and actually closer to the ocean than I have been in 28 years. Very sad since I grew up in Ft. Lauderdale and Ocean City MD.

    So….does your Mid Adlantic gardening info apply to where I live now? Southern Delaware.

    Thanks for your help. Sally

    • No worries, Sally! I hope that you will glean some helpful information. And yes, this is all entirely applicable to the southern Delaware region. The great majority of what I write about is appropriate for anyone who gardens; there may be a few plants discussed that aren’t hardy beyond Zone 7 but that would be stated clearly in the article. Best of luck in your gardening adventures this year!

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